50 ‘Mental UK Headlines’ That Are 100% British
There are a ton of reasons why we love the United Kingdom—from its gorgeous nature and culture to its wide-ranging cuisine and renowned literature. But something that keeps us coming back is our love for the British press with all of its ups, downs, and unique quirks. There’s honestly hardly anything better than making a big cup of tea and opening up the serious Sunday papers or going for a cheeky scroll through the digital tabloids. It’s entertaining. It’s fun. It’s off the hook!
Now that’s where the ‘Mental UK Headlines’ Twitter page comes in. A social media project that unites nearly 100k followers, the account features some of the funniest, most bizarre, and downright ludicrous news stories and headlines found in the British press. Both in the tabloids and in the more serious (digital) papers. And today we’re featuring some of their very best finds to bring a smile to your face. Just because the press isn't yellow doesn't mean it's not immune to some truly bizarre headlines.
Go on, grab yourself some biscuits and enjoy a good laugh. Don’t forget to upvote the pics that you enjoyed the most, send a few your friends’ way, and if you really love what you’re seeing, give ‘Mental UK Headlines’ a follow for some more top-tier humor.
Bored Panda got in touch with author, comedy writer, journalist, and all-around talented creative Ariane Sherine from the UK. We had a chat about tabloids, catchy headlines, and why the Brits love the sensationalist press so much. Read on for our full interview with her!
Journalist and comedy expert Ariane, from London, shared her thoughts about the tabloids (or the ‘red tops’ as the Brits call them) with Bored Panda.
“I think the British press, particularly the sensationalist yellow press uses a lot more wordplay, humor, and puns in headlines—and also employs shock to grab the reader,” Ariane told us.
“You’ve also got our tabloid the Daily Sport, which I wouldn’t even class as a newspaper as it’s mostly made up for entertainment and titillation!”
We were curious to get Ariane’s take on why the British enjoy tabloids so much, whether it’s all for the sake of being entertained or if they actually believe the biased news printed there.
“I definitely think people read the Sport purely for cheeky entertainment and to look at scantily clad women, as it’s only meant for that,” the journalism expert told us.
“But a lot of people get all their news from the Sun or Star, which is a bit worrying. They definitely believe everything they read in those papers—and they shouldn’t!” she warned.
Meanwhile, when it comes to writing striking headlines, Ariane said that a lot depends on the topic in question. If you care about the issues on a personal level, you’re already more likely to read the story.
She shared some of the things that journalists ought to look at when writing headlines: “What’s the human interest angle? What would grab my attention? You have to distill the story into its essence in one sentence. What makes it entertaining?”
The ‘Mental UK Headlines’ project is fairly fresh. The account was started up on Twitter almost exactly a year ago, in April 2021. In that time, they’ve gotten the love and attention of 98.2k followers.
The account shows us a few things. First of all, how much a good headline can boost our mood for the next few hours (who doesn’t love a hearty chuckle?). Secondly, there are some truly weird events going on in the world. And lastly, the British yellow press is willing to write about pretty much anything and everything for the sake of a ‘story.’ Whether that restores or destroys your faith in humanity depends on your perspective.
During a previous interview, London-based comedy writer Ariane told Bored Panda that humor plays a huge role in British culture.
“I think it is inherently witty and quirky but coupled with a huge dose of irony and self-consciousness,” she shared her thoughts about British wit with us.
“[British humor is] sarcastic, petty, ridiculous, embarrassed, self-conscious, and underpinned with the knowledge and awareness of how silly Brits are,” the comedy expert explained to Bored Panda how we can define this unique sense of humor.
“When people think of us, they think of the Royal Family, iconic images like London buses and phone boxes, afternoon tea, period dramas, and posh people—like Hugh Grant in Richard Curtis films!” Ariane said how the world tends to think of the British.
“They see us as charming and antiquated and think we're adorable. Spoiler: we're not really like this! Which they'll find out if they ever visit Britain, but I guess most people never do, so we remain cute and posh in their imaginations,” the comedy writer quipped.
Meanwhile, Lisa McLendon, the William Allen White Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications and the coordinator of the Bremner Editing Center at the University of Kansas, was kind enough to share her insights about text and how to leave an immediate impact on the audience with us during an earlier interview.
The professor said that when you have to make an immediate impression on someone, like with a sign, it’s best to focus on clarity and brevity. That’s especially important in our world where there’s a seemingly endless stream of information and shortening attention spans.
"Clarity and brevity are essential. You only have a second or two to get your message across, so you want people to understand quickly with zero confusion," she told Bored Panda.
What’s more, journalism and editing expert Lisa stressed the necessity to proofread all of your work. And then getting someone else to proofread it again. It’s especially useful when you’re using text in ways that can’t be easily and cheaply edited later (like it would be online).
She also stressed that it’s important to choose the right font, with the audience in mind. It should be clear. It should be readable. It shouldn’t have your readers second-guessing what they’re looking at.